Daily Mouthwash Use Liked To Diabetes. It is estimated that nearly 203 million Americans use mouthwash every single day as part of their oral hygiene routines. However, could mouthwash cause harm when used in the long term? To date, studies have not truly evaluated the long-term impacts of daily mouthwash use.
In a recent article from ScienceDirect.com, the authors looked at a Harvard study that examined the effects of daily mouthwash use over a three-year period. The study noted that most mouthwashes use antibacterial ingredients, which could disrupt oral microbes that are essential for forming nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps manage insulin, and it also assists with balancing metabolism, energy levels, and blood sugar levels. The result of eliminating the presence of nitric oxide could be a predisposition to metabolic disorders, such as diabetes.
The study followed 1,206 obese or overweight subjects. The group was between the ages of 40 and 65 and had not been diagnosed with any significant cardiovascular diseases or diabetes. The analyses followed 945 of these subjects who provided complete follow-up information.
The authors in charge of the study also adjusted for smoking, sex, waist circumference, physical activity, pre-hypertension and hypertension status, and alcohol consumption.
Nearly half (43 percent) of the subjects used mouthwash at least one time a day. Around a quarter (22 percent) used mouthwash at least twice each day. Those who used mouthwash more than twice each day had a higher risk of prediabetes or diabetes when compared to those who used mouthwash less often. Even after adding in several factors, such as diet, oral hygiene, income, education, and oral conditions, the results were similar. The link between mouthwash use and prediabetes or diabetes was also significant in obese subjects, as well as those who had never smoked.
The study concluded that the risk of diabetes or harmful blood sugar spikes could increase by up to 55 percent.
Those who used mouthwash less than two times per day did not demonstrate any elevated risk of prediabetes or diabetes.
What does bacteria have to do with developing diabetes?
All throughout the human body, there are “good bacteria” that assists in thousands of bodily processes, and there are “bad bacteria” that can cause illness and disease. When an antibacterial mouthwash is used, it does not differentiate between good bacteria and bad bacteria that may be present in the mouth. Instead, it wipes both types out.
Some of the most common antibacterial ingredients in mouthwashes include triclosan, alcohol, fluoride, peroxide, chlorhexidine, essential oils, and cetylpyridinium chloride.
A previous article noted that some of the bacteria in the mouth offer protection against obesity and diabetes. In 2013, a study found that one week of mouthwash use could lower oral nitrite production by a whopping 90 percent. Blood nitrite levels were reportedly reduced by around 25 percent. The end result was a noticeable spike in blood pressure.
On the American Dental Association website, the section on mouthwash notes that the products may be either therapeutic or cosmetic in nature. Some may be used to eliminate bad breath and reduce plaque, and others may be used for whitening the teeth. The ADA website cautions that children under six years of age should not use mouthwash unless they have been directed to do so by their dentist. Currently, the ADA states, “While not a replacement for daily brushing and flossing, use of mouthwash (also called mouth rinse) may be a helpful addition to the daily oral hygiene routine for some people.” It adds that mouthwashes may be helpful with “…reducing the risk of bad breath, cavities, or gum disease; or for the relief of dry mouth or pain from oral sores.”
What if more research shows that mouthwash is harmful?
There have been a number of products in the history of the United States that were originally thought to be safe but were later determined to be harmful to consumers. For example, consider the number of homes that were painted with lead paint before it was discovered that lead could cause serious health complications.
Simply because the risk is not immediately apparent in a product does not mean that manufacturers can entirely avoid liability for the harm it causes.
Lawsuits that seek damages for injuries caused by products are covered in products liability claims. In a products liability claim, the injured victim alleges that at least one of the following defects is present in a product:
- Manufacturing Defect
- Design Defect
- Marketing Defect
These defects are quite different from each other. However, it is possible for all three to be present in a single product.
Manufacturing defects occur when something goes wrong as the product is being made or assembled. For example, consider a batch of light bulbs that were manufactured with the wrong type of glass. Rather than a type of glass that is able to handle the heat the light bulb produces, the light bulbs are manufactured and distributed with an extremely fragile type of glass, one that shatters when it is overheated. This is an issue with the manufacturing process; therefore, it is a manufacturing defect.
However, if the light bulbs were designed with the fragile glass in the first place meaning, the manufacturer intended for the weaker glass to be used in the bulbs-the defect would be a design defect, because the problem is in how the product was designed in the first place.
Marketing defects refer to a failure to warn of certain risks associated with a product, or a lack of proper instructions for using a product. If it is foreseeable that a consumer may use a product in a way that results in injury, the manufacturer must provide warnings and/or instructions with the product. For example, consider a small child’s chair. It may be foreseeable that an adult would use such a chair as a stepstool. However, the chair may not support an adult’s weight. Therefore, the manufacturer should warn against using the chair in this way or should note a weight limit for the chair.
If an individual is successful in a products liability lawsuit, that individual may be entitled to a variety of damages, including:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- The cost of future medical care
- The cost of remodeling a home to install wheelchair ramps or other structures
- Loss of consortium
Other damages may also be available, depending on the circumstances of the claim.
Products liability attorneys ensure that allegations against a manufacturer are supported by substantial evidence. These attorneys work hard to analyze the claim and determine what must be proven to prevail. Products liability claims are often complex and require the examination of thousands of documents and other types of evidence. Also, the court system has multiple deadlines and requirements that must be met in these cases. With the assistance of an experienced products liability attorney, a claimant has a much better chance of prevailing in the claim and recovering damages.
If a Product Caused Your Injury, Contact Parker Waichman LLP
At Parker Waichman LLP, our attorneys are very skilled and experienced in various types of product liability claims. Our legal professionals offer you a free consultation to go over your legal options. Call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529) today.